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A full guide of swift system and swift fees

SWIFT, is the abbreviated form of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. SWIFT is a secure way for banks and financial institutions to send payments between different branches, banks, and countries fast and secure. However along with many benefits using SWIFT to send money would cost users high fees in some cases.

A full guide of swift system and swift fees
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What is swift?

SWIFT or the "Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications" is a non-profit cooperative association founded in May 1973 by 23 banks from 15 countries in Europe and North America with the aim of replacing non-standard paper or international Telex communication methods with a world standard method.

Currently, more than 9,700 banks and financial institutions in 209 countries are members of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). 

Swift is headquartered in Belgium and operates under its laws, with the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong serving as member support centers. Swift in each country has an SAP, i.e. the access point to Swift, which is controlled by the Swift Institute. The Swift system is used to send and receive any currency message between the currency units of domestic banks and foreign banks.

swift code

What is SWIFT code?

In the transfer of money through Swift, characters are used that are in the form of code. Swift code consists of 8 to 11 characters:

  • The first four characters represent the bank code.
  • The second two characters represent the country of the bank
  • The second two characters represent the location code of the bank
  • The last three characters are the bank branch code.


What are the advantages of the SWIFT system?

The significant growth of Swift is due to the many benefits of this system for users, the most important of which are the following:

  • Reliability
  • Security
  •  Speed
  • Low fees (of course, this method is high for moving small amounts of costs)
  • Accessibility
  • Quick and simultaneous settlement of accounts

What are SWIFT fees?

When you send or receive a SWIFT payment, there would be a number of fees that you need to pay. SWIFT associated fees include:

  • outgoing wire transfer fee to send user’s SWIFT payment
  • incoming payment fee to receive money through SWIFT
  • foreign exchange fee to convert payment into another currency
  • SWIFT tracing fee to check on the progress of the payment

The SWIFT fees transparency depends on the bank that you use since different banks have different policies. That is why you need to ask for detailed information before you confirm your SWIFT payment.

Why do you need to pay SWIFT fees?

Banks all around the world are charged with a one-off fee to use SWIFT services. This fee is paid once in addition to yearly fees. Yearly fees depend on how many messages the bank sends, what types of messages are sent, and how long the messages are.

This means that when users pay SWIFT fees, the money is going to the bank rather than the swift system.

Usually the sender should pay the SWIFT fees but sometimes penalties agree on sharing the fees and both sender and receiver would pay it.

swift fees

Avoid SWIFT fees using PayPax

A great alternative for cross-border payments without paying high fees is PayPax multi-currency account. Using PayPax Global Payment Solution you will be able to send and receive payments to other PayPax accounts with low and transparent fees depending on your account type. To learn about the associated fees you can check the PayPax fees page.

You can use PayPax to send, receive and accept payments with methods below:

  • Perfect Money USD
  • Webmoney WMZ
  • Payoneer USD
  • More than 50 cryptocurrencies

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